Wednesday, November 30, 2011

{Worth Repeating Wednesday} My Side vs. Your Side

God knows I need repetition to learn anything. And he's working on this lesson right now: I don't understand plenty of things. And it's not always my place to get it.

Whether it's parenting strategies, incorporating God into everyday life, schooling choices, or holiday traditions, there is usually a "my side" and "her side." And usually there is even a third side. Of course, I think my side is the best side, otherwise I'd move to her side.

Conviction and commitment are honorable. But judging and thinking the other person is wrong isn't. And sometimes -- rather, many times -- it doesn't matter whose side is better or right. I'd be better off if I just genuinely loved the people around me.

Yes, that's a hard pill for me to swallow.

So, I've been thinking about that sort of thing. And then I read this.

{Go read it. Really.}

I haven't really been thinking about Calvinism versus Arminianism. In fact, I had to look up "Arminianism." And apparently this debate has been going on for quite some time. OK, so, I don't have a strong opinion about this.

This lack of a strong opinion is probably a surprise to my husband. He says I have opinions about everything. And then that statement is usually followed by a reminder that I don't have to have opinions about everything.

OK, so back to what I do have opinions about. I've been thinking about how just birthing a child doesn't make someone a parent, how parenting is hard and requires quick thinking and long-term vision, how family dynamics are constantly changing when people are added, and how everybody celebrates the same holiday differently.

And sometimes -- OK, too often, really -- I get caught up in the whys and hows. Just today my 4-year-old girl who is thinking when she's not talking and talking when she's not thinking asked a record-setting number of questions. And I found myself getting annoyed.

Yet I'm like that. I question what I'm doing, what she's doing, what he's doing, what they're doing, and what she's doing again. Sometimes I question it aloud and sometimes it's just all spinning around in my head.

"Because what we believe about how we were born must never define us more than our shared belief that Jesus lives." That's from Shaun Groves' blog. Yes, that's the post I linked earlier. Yes, the one I thought you should read.

Truth is, much of what we believe and practice is rooted in what we've always known and what our parents did. We take what we've known and merge it with what our spouse has always know and make our life. It probably changes along the way because we grow as people and we grow up.

I don't care if you're a Calvinist.

And I shouldn't care if you include Santa in your Christmas celebrations.

Or trick-or-treat on Halloween.

Or like the way "Lost" ended.

Or let your baby sleep in your bed.

Or home school or attend public school or go to Christian school.

Or drink Pepsi Max instead of Coke Zero.

Wherever your side is and my side is, I'm hoping the gap becomes narrow and we continue to live our lives together. Because, really, that's what God wants. And if while sharing our lives and genuinely loving each other we want to engage in healthy debate, I'm sure he's OK with that too.

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